The Milwaukee women’s basketball team had no problem as they raced out ahead and claimed the TD Bank Classic title this weekend with a 24-point win over Vermont.
The game began somewhat slow, but Milwaukee quickly turned things around. Things were knotted up 5-5 after the first media break but the Panthers broke out of the huddle with hot shooting. They finished the first period with a 15-0 run, going a perfect 7-of-7 the rest of the way.
Rampant scoring continued in the second quarter, as a 3-pointer from Bailey Farley at the midway mark extended the Panther lead to 15 points. The half would end with Milwaukee up 34-20.
Vermont continued to fail at stopping the vicious Milwaukee offense in the second half. After a pair of free throws from Jenny Lindner, the Panthers boosted their lead to 20 points with a little over five minutes remaining in the third quarter. They would push their lead to as much as 26 in the fourth quarter.
The game culminated in the first in-season tournament championship for Milwaukee since going 2-0 at the SMU Hoops for the Cure Classic in 2006.
Head Coach Kyle Rechlicz noted the significance.
“This is huge for our program,” Rechlicz said. “We haven’t won one of these tournaments since 2006 and we haven’t gone 5-1 to start since we were NAIA, so this is really big for our program.”
Rebounding was also a vital impact for the Panthers. They out-rebounded Vermont 45-22 and earned 16 second-chance points. Their defense also capitalized off turnovers, earning 25 points off of their opponents’ bludners.
For the Panthers, Alexis Lindstrom, Sierra Ford-Washington and Bailey Farley were all named to the all-tournament team. Steph Kostowicz also earned an all-tournament nod in addition to being named tournament MVP.
As noted, this is the first time Milwaukee has started the season 5-1 in its Division-1 history.
Milwaukee will now have a week off before its next game, which is a home contest against North Dakota State on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. at the Klotsche Center.